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Corrupted HTML Links
Frontpage changing the coding?

 3:52 pm on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Just spent some time investigating a strange drop in click thrus (1000s to 0) to an affiliate program that has been a consistent money earner.

Found that the text links have been corrupted. The normal link -- which had worked for 6 months -- looks something like this:


The &sub part of the link is being changed by Frontpage to ⊂, which, since the character is appended to myid changes the affiliate ID, thus no tracking for a click or credit for a sale.

Since the links are quite long I use a meta refresh page to direct traffic to the affiliate site. Frontpage *always* makes the change in the meta refresh link and *sometimes* in the text link on the page.

It looks like this has started at least two weeks ago. I've made no deliberate changes to the Frontpage settings before then and they look correct now so I'm kind of at a loss as to what happened.

The &sub part just lets me track clicks from different sections of the site so I'm just going to remove it for now but would still like to know the cause and any remedies. Any ideas?

Muddled in Manhattan,




 4:32 pm on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

I don't use frontpage, but it sounds like you may have an "autocorrect" feature turned on. Dreamweaver has a similar feature. Perhaps go into your preferences section, find it, and turn it off.


 5:45 pm on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

When you add the link to a page are you 'cutting and pasting' it?

I just tried it in frontpage and if you are copying from HTML, you will get strange errors like that.

The workaround is to cut and paste to notepad and THEN cut and paste to frontpage (html view).

I don't know if that's the problem or not...but if it is...that's a solution.


 6:01 pm on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Actually, this is FP's way of writing valid code believe it or not. The ⊂ is the ascii equivalent to &sub...

⊂ = ⊂ = subset of

I'm not sure why it is causing a problems as ascii equivalents are needed to validate.

Maybe try this, escape the ampersand & a m p ; (no spaces inbetween & a m p ;) and leave the word sub so it looks like this...

myid& a m p ;sub=mysubid& a m p ;blahblah.

I'd escape all the ampersands in that string. If you still have problems, I'd talk to your affiliate partner and see why ascii equivalents are not working with their system. This is not my area of expertise but common sense tells me something is not right with the affiliate tracking software and ascii characters.

P.S. As a side thought, what charset tag are you using? windows-1252 or something else? This would appear in your <head> if you were using one.


 6:15 pm on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Actually, this is FP's way of writing valid code

Precisely why I deduced that FP may have an "autocorrection" feature that may need to be turned off. Pretty annoying.


 6:20 pm on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

It could be a compatibility setting which can be found in Tools > Page Options > Compatibility.

But, since it was mentioned that no changes were made to the program, I kind of set that one aside. In theory, what FP is doing is correct. That url string won't validate with the ampersands. They need to be escaped. Unfortunately FP does not do this routine automatically.

Since we are dealing with characters here, I'd look first and the charset tag if there is one. Then I'd look at the compatibility tab to see what I have selected in there which is usually...

Both Internet Explorer and Navigator
4.0 browsers and later
Microsoft Internet Information Server 3.0 and later

Those are three most common settings in the compatibility tab.


 11:01 pm on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

pageoneresults - that's exactly what it's doing, returning the "subset of" character. Appended to myid that really screws things up.

martinibuster - Frontpage formats and substitutes seemingly at its own whims. There is an "HTML Markup" feature for code you don't want FP to touch and am going to go with that. It works in the body and I'll find out if it works in meta tags in the head.

All compatibility settings are basic, IE & NS, US-Western European encoding, etc. Just burned out the mouse on that machine and will check the charset after I take a walk over to Staples to pick up a new one. (Anybody ever run into a really, and I mean really, hot mouse before?)

Frontpage has a way of doing its own thing, but still confused as to why this spontaneous change.

Thanks for the leads. Will let you know what or if I find out anything.


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